The new Sentra not only sheds the dowdy look of its predecessor, but it also brings a remarkable transformation to the driving experience. We found it to be one of the best compact sedans, thanks to capable ride and handling, good fuel economy, relatively roomy interior, and intuitive controls.
The upgraded powertrain is a pleasant 149-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that replaced the rougher 1.8-liter. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) acts like a refined conventional unit and ensures a predictable, unobtrusive power delivery. Together, they endow the Sentra with relatively quick acceleration and commendable 32 mpg overall in our tests.
The lower stance, combined with more advanced rear suspension improves ride and handling. The Sentra feels responsive in corners and remains secure even when pushed to its limits on our track. The ride is steady and absorbent, but we would caution that the wider tires on the SR trim take away from ride comfort.